Sometimes the toughest thing is keeping your mouth shut

About a week ago, I was hanging out at North Shore Baseball Academy with some time on my hands. My 6:30 lesson had cancelled  at the last minute due to illness, so I was just sort of strolling around trying to keep myself occupied for the next half hour.

In one cage was a high school age boy hitting off a pitching machine. I started chatting with his father, just some general stuff. But as we were talking I was also watching the boy. He was popping up a lot, although every now and then he’d hit a good one. I could see why — he was dropping his back shoulder before rotating — and that created a dilemma for me. I so much wanted to offer to help him out, but I wasn’t sure that my recommendations would be all that welcome. After all, who was I to tell them anything?

Ultimately I decided not to say anything. It was probably the toughest thing I had to do all night.

Once you really get into coaching it’s hard to turn it back off. I can’t even watch a movie where they’re playing softball without analyzing the technique. (I can tell you with utmost certainty that softball is not Hillary Duff’s game.)

So how about you? Have you ever been walking around a field or indoor facility, seen some bad technique or bad instruction, and wanted to say something? Did you, or did you keep your mouth shut too?


About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on December 26, 2009, in Coaching. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I keep my mouth shut. Its hard. I coach a fairly successful ASA/travel team in a small city. I also coach a team in our local rec league. Its tough when you see a kid on another rec team that just needs a little good coaching to make her good.I keep my mouth shut unless I am asked my opinion, then I feel its ok for the flood gates to open. I found most parents already know everything there is to know about their childs athletics. Nobody needs me to help…


  2. Ken, I have to agree with you. As much as I would like to “coach” that person, I have to realize that someone else is and stay out of it. It is the hardest thing to do. As a coach, you want to see every kid succeed. Bryan, I do the same, if asked I will offer an opinion or advice, but even then I try to be cautious.


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